If I use salt to kill poison ivy-how far from other trees & plants?

by Sheila
If I use salt to kill poison ivy, how far away from trees and other plants do I need to stay so that I will not harm them?
  9 answers
  • Kig3047281 Kig3047281 on May 23, 2017

    Try to cut out as much as possible first. Then use the salt directly on the poison ivy. I know poison ivy weaves among other plants but try to get to the roots and douse with the salt if you can't dig them out. Cover yourself head to toe to keep from being exposed to it's wretched rash !

  • Sheila Sheila on May 23, 2017

    But if I am dousing large quantities, how far do I need to stay away from other trees and foliage?

  • Use only on the Poison Ivy leaves and roots. Don't spray in a widespread angle because you will kill the other vegetation. I have found that by spraying just the ivy leaves, it will kill the whole plant within a few days. It won't kill it overnight though and you will probably have to reapply, especially if it has rained. Poison Ivy is not easy to kill with one application.

  • Nancy Turner Nancy Turner on May 25, 2017

    Please be careful with salt. It will wash off in the rain and run down the soil and also leach into the soil. From there it goes down into the sewer and ends up in the streams, rivers and lakes and so on. The salt does not disappear and builds up over time turning said streams, rivers and lakes into water with a high salinity level which in turn kills off all the native water plants and fish, frogs, etc. that can't handle the salinity. It is already becoming a problem in a lot of areas.

  • Sue B. Sue B. on May 26, 2017

    Oh darn! We live by a lake and I thought that was one "natural" and relatively safe way of killing unwanted plants! Any suggestions on what to use instead?

  • Sheila Sheila on May 26, 2017

    Thank you for the info

  • Janet Janet on May 26, 2017

    I have had success killing Poison Ivy with RoundUp Poison Ivy and Brush Killer. I apply it with a pump up sprayer set to a small pattern and carefully apply it to only the Ivy leaves. It is systemic.

  • Chloe Crabtree Chloe Crabtree on Nov 07, 2023

    3 cups white vinegar

    1/2 cup table salt

    1 tablespoon liquid detergent or soap (I use Dawn) for stick-to-itiveness.


    1. Mix vinegar and salt until the salt is completely dissolved. Stir in liquid dish soap, and pour into a spray bottle.
    2. Spray onto the green growing leaves of the plants.
    3. Wait a week, then repeat on any survivors. Best time to apply: during a dry spell.

  • Deb K Deb K on Nov 11, 2023

    Hi Sheila, hope this helps. Dissolve one cup salt in a gallon of water and add a tablespoon of dish soap to create a solution that can be sprayed on poison ivy. BE CAREFUL TO NOT GET IT ON PLANTS YOU LOVE, if you do, rinse them well. You can treat the ivy right beside plants you love, just do it carefully. While this method of killing poison ivy is effective in the short run, it will probably require future treatments to keep the ivy at bay.